After the news came out the first week of January of 2016, we finally got to see in person the newest creation from HYT —the hydromechanical horologists—, while we attending the SIHH 2016 Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie. The newest watch from HYT, the H2 Tradition ref. 248-TW-10-BF-AB brings classic cues with a contemporary design to their super avant-garde way of telling time via fluid. This is the first HYT with classic guilloché finishes and after seeing it in person, we can tell you that we definitely liked what we saw. The new HYT H2 Tradition features elegant white lacquered dials with blued hands, that stay true to the DNA of the brand by retaining its hydro-mechanical aesthetic, thanks to the capillary with the blue fluid moving forwards as the hours pass.
The fluid in the capillary is driven by two bellows positioned either side of 6 o'clock and developed in 2013 on the very first HYT H2. The traditional side is expressed by the diamond guilloché main plate, the ogival shaped crown and its blued hands. For this particular new watch, HYT wanted it to be classical and easy to read, with the most subtle of aesthetics. This constant balance between tradition and modernity is more complex than it seems. HYT had to modify the design of the H2's calibre.
Fitted with a case measuring 48.8 mm x 17.9 mm in 18K white gold and titanium, the watch features a screw-down titanium dynamometric crown. The case middle is made of titanium with light anthracite grey PVD coating and the iconic HYT rider at 6 o'clock, is made of titanium and featuring for the very first time, a Roman numeral with blue varnish. The watch is water resistant to 50 meters, but honestly, we are not sure we would attempt getting in the pool with this watch.
Perhaps the most impressive part of the overall design of the watch are the white lacquered varnished dials with 4N treatment. While the hours are indicated via the blue fluid along with the flange with black Roman numerals, the minutes and seconds take a more prominent stage at 12 o'clock with their lacquered varnished dials with 4N treatment, blued hands, black indices and Arabic numerals.
To deliver such an impressive watch, HYT had to modify the design of the H2's calibre. For instance, the balance, had to be recentered to provide room on the dial for the minutes. This simple shift meant a large part of the movement's design had to be overhauled, a feat once again achieved by HYT's long standing partners, APRP—Audemars Piguet Renaud et Papi. The case has also been redesigned, with the crown protector removed, in yet another nod towards the codes of watchmaking tradition. The traditional crown position indicator is located at 3 o'clock right by the crown, a feature we typically see on the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept and on many of the Richard Mille timepieces.
The finish of the H2 Tradition also required a number of adjustments. To allow for a diamond guilloché finish in rhodium-plated nickel silver on both sides, the main plate, for example, had to be made slightly thicker, which in turn meant new tolerances had to be calculated for the movement.
Additionally, all the bridges had to be modified, reconstructed, polished and hand-bevelled. As with all HYT's creations, the H2 Tradition is best appreciated in terms of perspective and volume.
The classical retro-futuristic look of the new SIHH 2016 HYT H2 Tradition is rounded out by a gorgeous patent blue alligator strap with deployant buckle. The strap is handmade and very supple to the touch.
Fully visible via the display case back, the beating heart inside the new HYT H2 Tradition was of course designed and executed by APRP —Audemars Piguet Renaud et Papi. The movement is a manual wound exclusive HYT calibre with 28 jewels and which beats at a frequency of 21,600 vph to provide an outstanding power reserve of 8 days —192 hours— when fully wound.
As you can see in these pictures, the movement is exquisitely finished with diamond guilloché on the rhodium-plated nickel silver main plate and the bellows are rhodium-plated to provide extra wow factor. In all, one of the nicest movements out there from the independent brands.
On the wrist, the watch wears true to its size and quite nicely. This is one of those watches where its modern feel doesn't get compromised by the Roman numerals or classic cues on its final design. Definitely another favorite at the SIHH 2016. The new HYT H2 Tradition is only available in a limited edition of 50 pieces.
Sticker Price $179,000 USD. For more info on HYT watches click here.